Roosevelt Praises the Settling of the American West

He thanks the Indian Wars veterans who safeguarded “Those brave pioneers who pushed westward and blazed the trails for American colonization...”

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From the end of the Civil War until the 1890’s, there was a great migration and expansion that settled the American West. That movement saw wagon trains wend their way westward, braving dangers along the way, and often passing through or even homesteading in country owned and occupied by Native Americans. The...

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Roosevelt Praises the Settling of the American West

He thanks the Indian Wars veterans who safeguarded “Those brave pioneers who pushed westward and blazed the trails for American colonization...”

From the end of the Civil War until the 1890’s, there was a great migration and expansion that settled the American West. That movement saw wagon trains wend their way westward, braving dangers along the way, and often passing through or even homesteading in country owned and occupied by Native Americans. The U.S. Army and Cavalry sent forces to protect these pioneers, both in their passage and at their destinations, and these troops engaged in a series of conflicts known collectively as the Indian Wars. Without their presence, the settlement of the West as we know it would not have been possible.

In the 1930’s, there were still quite a few veterans of the Indian Wars living, and an unbrella group for a while organized annual encampments. In 1936, President Roosevelt took time to thank them for their part in one of the nation’s greatest endeavors – the settlement of the American West.

Typed Letter Signed on White House letterhead, Washington, October 7, 1936, to National Commander Ralph Donath of the United Indian War Veterans. “I am glad to extend my greetings to the United Indian War Veterans of the United States on the occasion of their 1936 encampment. The service which the members of your organization rendered in safeguarding the interests of those brave pioneers who pushed westward and blazed the trails for American colonization merits the nation’s recognition and gratitude. I extend to you today that recognition and gratitude on behalf of the American people. It was through your service that settlement and expansion of our great frontiers was made possible. The part which you had in paving the way toward the settlement and expansion of our country has become a permanent chapter in American history..”

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